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An Anemone

‘Teach me the wisdom of thy beauty, pray,
 That, being thus wise, I may aspire to see
What beauty is, whence, why, and in what way
 Immortal, yet how mortal utterly:
For, shrinking loveliness, thy brow of day
 Pleads plaintive as a prayer, anemone.
 
’Teach me wood-wisdom, I am petulant:
 Thou hast the wildness of a Dryad’s eyes,
The shyness of an Oread’s, wild plant:-
 Behold the bashful goddess where she lies
Distinctly delicate!- inhabitant
 Ambrosial-earthed, star-cousin of the skies.
 
'Teach me thy wisdom, for, thro’ knowing, yet,
 When I have drunk dull Lethe till each vein
Thuds full oblivion, I shall not forget;-
 For beauty known is beauty; to sustain
Glad memories with life, while mad regret
 And sorrow perish, being Lethe slain.’
 
'Teach thee my beauty being beautiful
 And beauty wise?- My slight perfections, whole
As world, as man, in their creation full
 As old a Power’s cogitation roll.
Teach thee?—Presumption! thought is young and dull—
 Question thy God what God is, soul what soul.’
Other works by Madison Cawein ...



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